So my questions for you are, where have you been/what program you’re doing? How has it impacted your life? Do you think you would have been the person you are now if you stayed here?
First thank you Erika for asking me these questions, I needed to make a post about this topic and never get around to doing it, so now I have a reason to do it!
So since I quit my job in May 2014, I went to Connecticut, NYC, Dominican Republic, back to NYC, and then after that I moved to Slovakia to work as an English teacher in a private kindergarten. I didn’t go through a program, a friend of my friend was already working in one of the kindergartens over there and suggested my friend to apply so she told me and we both applied, it took a couple of months for everything to work out due to waiting for paperwork and all that stuff but I quit my job even before I knew I would go to Slovakia because I really just wanted to take some time to travel and “to find myself”. So I got the job to go work in Slovakia in July and moved there July 31st. Once there my travel adventures just seem to happen almost without even planning them so much. I went to Budapest-Hungary 2 times, Vienna in Austria 2 times, Brussels in Belgium, The Hague+Amsterdam in Holland, a few cities in Slovakia, Bled in Slovenia, Prague in Czech Republic 2 times, Paris in France, Oslo + Bergen in Norway, Mannheim in Germany, and lastly the amazing trip to India which still seems unreal.
You may be wondering how I managed to afford that, it was a lot of saving and managing my money way better than I have ever done before, using my credit card, and my tax money from working in USA in 2014. A lot of the vacations were short or I took them on long weekends and Europeans just give you way more days off for vacation, they don’t take holidays for granted. India was the longest I spend 2 weeks there. So most of the trip planning I did it on my own or with friends, didn’t use any programs, stay for free in Paris, Bergen, Germany and Budapest using CouchSurfing, friends, and also used Airbnb for cheaper accommodations, stay in Hostels, and literally once you start to get the idea in your head things really just sort of flow and happen almost like magic as crazy as that may sound.
It has impacted me so much, I am definitely a lot different then before, I care more about the world in general, I believe in myself and others way more than before, I am a hundred times better at managing my money, I am more confident in myself and in my decisions, I trust my gut a lot more, I value things a lot more, I am more willing to take risk, to take opportunities when they arrive at my door steps, I drink less which sounds funny but seriously before I left my idea of a “good time” consisted in drinking every weekend, now I much rather enjoy having meaningful conversations and I like that I don’t feel that need to get super tipsy to “enjoy” my night, I am more humble, more empathetic, and overall I have to say I love myself a whole lot more today.
Of course not everything was rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies but serious the hard times I went through were all worth it, and that’s all just part of life.
If you are thinking of taking some time off to travel, to work abroad or volunteer abroad DO IT. DO IT. DO IT! Even small trips change you if you are opened, fully embracing the places you are going and open to the people you meet along the way. BIGGEST advice is to SAVE SAVE SAVE, save as much money as you can before you take off because is nice to have some money to depend on and it will just give you a peace of mind and more freedom while you are out there. While I was living abroad I realized how much money I threw away on unnecessary things when I was living in the States, I won’t let myself do that again.
Never in a millions years would I be the person I am right now if I didn’t take the chance of moving to another country, of opening myself to people, new culture, and everything in between. If I could do it all again I would in a heartbeat!
Believe in Yourself.
Do what You think is right.
You have this one life.
Make yourself proud.
Song: Years Around the Sun – Miles Away